Friday, April 25, 2014

Martin Cooks - Brunch

I have been really wanting to get to Martin Cooks for a while.  The price point for their tasting-menu-style dinner, $65 per person + $40 to add wine pairings, for me means it would be a special occasion dinner.  Special occasions have come and gone but for one reason or another I hadn't made the trek yet.  That didn't stop me from torturing myself by reading their menu offerings which are posted on the website as they change each week and I'm telling you: I couldn't wait to get there.

On Sunday, the stars aligned.  I actually stumbled into this place accidentally.  

I tagged along to Horsefeathers' Winter Market with two of my friends and as we drove past the building looking for parking I saw the signage in the window for Martin Cooks.  I think I may have audibly squealed with excitement. 

Horsefeathers has small permanent shops upstairs, traditional chinese food, a bakery and pasta shop (with gluten free options) and a buffalo and food themed tchotchke shop.  In the basement they host a farmer's market in the winter months and there are also a couple other permanent shops for coffee and chocolate.

The winter market had vendors selling meats ranging from filet to tongue to sausage.  There was beer and wine.  There was produce and cheese and a dairy farmer who even brought little kids in cages.  I'm talking about adorable baby goats, not small humans.

Castle Farms was selling goat milk products and I've used their goat milk yogurt as the starter culture for homemade yogurt.

We browsed the shops and the market, made some purchases and worked up a little appetite...  Just in time to head back upstairs for brunch at Martin Cooks.

The windows out front are huge so there's tons of light streaming in.  The decor is rustic and eclectic... more of that shabby chic look that's so popular right now.  And they did a good job with it.  There are fun chandeliers and long wooden tea light candle holders and an amazing wine rack on the wall.  I'm sure I'm not the only person who covets this piece.

You know when you're hungry and everything looks good?  That wasn't the case here.  Well, it was half the case...  none of us were starving yet the entire menu ($10-$15) sounded so delicious.  We hadn't made a decision on the meal yet but, as per ushe, we started with mimosas.
"A brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast" - Martin Cooks
I was back and forth considering the andouille sausage and biscuits when the stranger on the stool next to us leaned over to mention he had gotten it and that it was delicious.  Said stranger then offered me a bite of his own meal.  How do other people feel about this??!  Because I think it's the swankiest move ever.  The same thing happened to me at Ramsay's Pub in Vegas once.  Maybe I have naturally hungry eyes and strangers take pity.  If that's true, I was born with lucky genes. 

(On the flip side, maybe I have a habit of staring so awkwardly at strangers that they can't even stomach taking another bite of their meal and they just pass it to me so they can get the hell out of there... hm, things to think about...)

Anyway, I'm a huge fan of this generosity and concept of food truly bringing people together. (even strangers!).

That bite of our stranger friend's meal was so good, the over easy egg soaked into the biscuit and the chorizo gave it a good kick of flavor.  But because we weren't all that hungry and had decided to order two meals between three of us and because one of us doesn't eat wheat (therefore no biscuits) and because, well, now I had already gotten to try it, we ordered two other things.

Exhibit A: Mushroom Risotto and Fried Egg

The risotto was creamy and the grains still had a little bite to them. There were plenty of whole mushrooms and parmesan-y goodness and I could not be happier about this fad of putting an egg on top of everything, de-lish.

Exhibit B: Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage and Fried Egg

Chunks of sweet potato and bell peppers were fried up with sausage and, in typical brunch fashion, topped with an egg.  Parsley, in my opinion, can sometimes overpower a bite, but that wasn't the case here.  I thought it added a bright, fresh flavor and married well with the sweet potatoes and peppers.

We separated the two meals equally onto three plates and basically the talking just stopped.  Let me just drive this point home.  We were three girls.  Three girls not talking.  Clearly we were enjoying our food.

When it came towards the last few bites of our meals, I could tell we were all debating which dish we wanted as our last bite.  Independently we all chose the hash.  Both meals were so so good, but apparently the hash won out as a favorite... just by a bite.

I can't wait to return for dinner!


  1. That's it! I'm coming next time. This place looks awesome - I want to pet a baby goat, too. Oh, and that quote about brunch is amazing, and so true.

    1. I would go again any time with you!! Also, they do a Wednesday Wine Series where they feature five different wines and snacks for $40. We should check it out some time.

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